Stavanger Airport, Sola (IATA: SVG, ICAO: ENZV) (Norwegian: Stavanger lufthavn, Sola) is an international airport located in the municipality of Sola, Norway, 6 NM (11 km; 6.9 mi) southwest of Stavanger. It is Norway's third largest airport, and, in addition to fixed-wing aircraft, it has significant helicopter traffic for the offshore North Sea oil installations. In addition, the Royal Norwegian Air Force operates Westland Westland Sea King search and rescue helicopters from the Sola Air Station.
The airport had 82,118 air movements and 3,552,579 passengers in 2008. Five airlines offer domestic flights to nine destinations while eleven airlines offer international flights to 37 destinations. Two helicopter companies operate out of Sola. Most of the air traffic comes from the route to Oslo, which has about 25 daily flights with Boeing 737 aircraft.
In the vicinity of the airport there is an aeronautical museum, Flyhistorisk Museum, Sola.
Stavanger Airport, Sola is Norway's oldest airport, opened by King Haakon VII 29 May 1937. The airport was the second to have a concrete runway in Europe. The airport was attacked and captured by German fallschirmjägers from 1st battalion of the 1st Regiment, 7th Flieger Division supported by Luftwaffe aircraft on 9 April 1940. The attack was over in an hour, and the airport remained in German hands for the duration of World War II. During the war, the German occupation forces and Luftwaffe expanded the airport considerably, as it was a vital strategic asset for the Germans.
Originally, the idea was to locate the Stavanger airport at Forus, but after the war the Royal Norwegian Air Force decided to use Sola temporarily until the new airport was built, and nothing ever became of Forus. Sola Air Station has since been of vital importance for the Norwegian armed forces, but gradually lost assignments, and in 1982 the last fighter squadron left the airport.
Stavanger Airport has two passenger terminals, one for airplanes and one for helicopters. When the present terminal was put into use January 28, 1987, it was the first airport in Norway to have skybridges, nine in total. The old terminal was then converted into a heliport. The airport has two crossing runways: the main runway, north/south (18/36) and the main runway for helicopters, which is oriented northwest-southeast (11/29).
Expansion of the airplane terminal took place in 2009. The new gates were built without jetbridges. The airport's two largest airlines, SAS and Norwegian, showed little interest in such amenity and desired quicker turnaround times. SAS though later said that they did want jetbridges for their larger jet planes, and only wanted gates without jetbridges for their smaller turboprop aircraft. The lack of jetbridges angered the societies representing the disabled and multiple sclerosis afflicted, and prompting several Rogaland politicians to put pressure on Avinor to reconsider the building. In April 2009, Avinor decided not to build jetbridges.
Det Norske Luftfartsselskap (DNL, later Scandinavian Airline Systems or SAS) started flying to Sola after the war, as did Braathens S.A.F.E in 1946 on its routes to Europe and the Far East with the Douglas DC-3 aircraft. In 1952 Braathens S.A.F.E got the concession to fly the routes Oslo-Stavanger, Oslo-Kristiansand-Stavanger and the coastal route Stavanger-Bergen-Ålesund-Trondheim-Bodø-Tromsø. SAS, on the other hand, got the concessions for the Oslo-Bergen, Oslo-northern Norway and the international traffic. This division lasted until the deregulation of air travel in 1994. Widerøe established itself at Sola in the late 1980s after they bought Sandefjord-Torp-based Norsk Air.
When the oil exploration in the Norwegian part of the North Sea started in 1967, there was a sudden need for helicopter transport out to the oil platforms. The first helicopter service was Helikopter Service, later renamed CHC Norway, who started operations with 2 Sikorsky S-61Ns initially from a makeshift heliport at nearby Forus. The offshore helicopter operations were moved to the Sola in 1989. Braathens Helikopter, owned by Braathens S.A.F.E, also operated helicopters from Sola in the period 1989 - 1994, but was then sold to Helikopter Service. Norsk Helikopter, later renamed Bristow Norway, started their offshore flying at Sola in 1993.
The British Airways predecessors had already started operating at Sola after the war, but it was only in 1980 that they started regular flights with BAC One-Eleven aircraft to London-Heathrow. Later, the route was operated with Boeing 737-200/-300/-400s and Boeing 757-200s and switched to London-Gatwick. In 1994 British Airways employees at Sola were transferred to Braathens S.A.F.E as part of new cooperation between the two airlines. But in 1997 KLM bought 30% of Braathens (as the airline was renamed) and British Airways closed its Stavanger routes, because it lacked its own staff. Dan-Air flew the route London-Gatwick-Newcastle-Stavanger, until they were taken over by British Airways in 1992. Norwegian Air Shuttle and Widerøe have flown to Newcastle as well.
The oil industry has also required scheduled routes between Stavanger and Scotland, primarily to Europe's oil capital Aberdeen. In addition to SAS, Air Anglia (later AirUK, KLMuk) flew the route. Today, this route is flown by City Star Airlines, SAS Norge and Widerøe.
In the 1970s KLM Royal Dutch Airlines started flights to Stavanger from Amsterdam. They have used the Douglas DC-9-10, Boeing 737-200/-300, Fokker 100, Fokker F-27 and Fokker 50 aircraft, and this route was the first that the KLM operated with Fokker 70s. The route was operated by Braathens between 1997 and 2002. Today, this route is flown by the KLM five times daily with the Boeing 737 and Fokker 70 aircraft.
Also, Air France has operated routes to Stavanger, with Boeing 737s, to its hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. But the Norwegian authorities have denied, among others, Northwest Airlines the right to start flying intercontinental flights from the United States.
Lufthansa started in 2003 to fly twice daily to its hub in Frankfurt in Germany with the Canadair RJ-700 aircraft.
In 2005 the work to upgrade the terminal building started. This work is scheduled to take some time, and is to be done in several phases. A new domestic arrival hall was opened in the summer of 2005, and should be followed by the refurbishing of the international arrival hall. A new international lounge is scheduled to be finished in the summer of 2006. A new baggage sorting system, and an extension of the check-in areas is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2007.
Avinor is working on the CAT II/LVTO approach system at the airport. This will allow planes to land with as little as 300 meters of horizontal visibility.
Sola Air Station
The armed forces have a number of functions located at the airport. The 330 Squadron operated Sea King search and rescue helicopters are the only squadron left at the airport, but still a number of military aircraft can be seen at the airport, among others NATO's AWACS aircraft.
Sola has quite a number of technical facilities, and has the largest aviation technical environment in Norway. Among others, Braathens had its technical main base at Sola, as does Norwegian Air Shutte, CHC Helikopter Service, Heli-One Norway, Norsk Helikopter, Norcopter, Pratt & Whitney Norway Engine Centre and the air force's helicopter main technical base.
On June 16, 2006 the board of SAS decided to close SAS Technical Services at Sola, which resulted in over 300 lost jobs.
The main runway, the 18/36 runway, is 60 m (200 ft) wide, thus the only airstrip in Norway which can land code F planes such as Airbus 380. The two airstrips cross each other, but since they have a different orientation, they could never operate as individual runways. The orientation will however allow planes to take off and land even with heavy wind from east or west.
Airport Operations (H24)
Avinor, 2. nd floor, Terminal building Stavanger Airport, Sola, Stavanger, Norway
Office hours: mon-fri: 08:00 - 15:45
Avinor AS, Stavanger Airport, Sola, P.O.box 150, 2061 Gardermoen, Norway
P.O. box 506, 4055 Stavanger Airport, Norway
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